Wednesday, January 26, 2011

zig zag progress

i'm enjoying this...

if only housework was as fun as quilting

well folks, here is the finished quilt top...

It's a whopping 94"x103"! I need to make a back for it and I think I'm going to pay someone to quilt it. it will cost less than renting a long-arm quilter. Amy's RS Pres shared this guy's blog: if you want to check it out.

The bed skirt will be a brown damask print and I think I'll do something like this above my bed (but in brown or green) since I don't have a headboard:
tutorials here:

and now to tackle the dishes and laundry I've been ignoring while sewing. *sigh*

Monday, January 24, 2011

Looking for block ideas?

One of my recent quilt blog discoveries is the Quilt Dad.

He is starting a Block-a-Palooza and twice a week, they will be featuring step-by-step block designs for a quilt-a-long! It's looks like it will be pretty awesome!!

Quilt Dad


photo courtesy Quilt Dad

Friday, January 21, 2011

Becca's Pinwheel Piece

Another red one for Liz.  It took some professional help to pick the fabrics, but I like how it turned out!  Hope it goes well with the rest of the quilt.

And, just for fun, here's my first attempt:
It ended up too small.  Don't ask me how that happened, but I didn't have enough scraps to do it over.  I think that the reds work better in the pinwheel design and might be more to Liz's tastes anyway (fingers crossed).

What was I thinking?

I've had this fabric for several months, but never had a quilt "need" until now. We just upgraded to a King-size bed and so my queen size coverlets are too small. I even bought a duvet cover, but I'm going to take it back and make this:
in these fabrics:The top left print was my inspiration. They're all from Joann's, except the bottom left print, which used to be a twin fitted sheet that I got at Savers. I'm pretty sure Kristin donated it. And the circle of life continues.

Here is my progress so far:

check out these other versions of the same pattern:

The funny thing is that while folks were out getting bread and milk before the snow hit yesterday, I was hurrying out to get batting, backing, and fabric for a bedskirt and pillowcases. Priorities, people!

My problem now: how am I going to quilt this huge thing after it's pieced?

Monday, January 17, 2011

pre-spring cleaning

I'm cleaning out my tiny sewing room. Anyone want this book?

Want to make a quilt but puzzled about where to begin? Look no further than the inspiring ideas and in-depth how-to inside this book. You'll learn everything you need to know -- from choosing fabric for your project and proper rotary-cutting techniques to tips for sewing exact seams and how to finish your quilt with flair. Then practice your skills on these enticing projects: Easy Four-Patch Quilt; Hourglass Quilt; Fine Stripes Baby Quilt; Pillow Trio; Plaid Nine-Patch Throw; Star Wall Hanging; Bow-Tie Quilt; and Lazy Dayz Tote. 48 pgs

If no one wants it, I'll just donate it to Savers.

Quilting Bug

I totally have it!
While looking at different patterns and squares for my month in March ( I know, way early, but I have the bug) I came across a pattern from Moda Bake Shop. It seemed pretty straight forward. LOTS of straight lines. I can do it. This is my final result. I LOVE IT!I bought an embroidery foot that allows me to machine quilt with my very basic sewing machine.
I also figured out what I want for my square in March, but I will wait until March to post it.
Just a little Jennie

Where do you live? We're in Bethesda, Maryland- just outside of DC.  I have also lived in Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, New York & Arkansas.
Fav Pastime: I love a good book, sewing, cooking & baking, snacking on anything sweet and a little Target-ing .  I like exploring our new surroundings with husband & kids too.
Favorite Pizza Topping: If you take me to Larry's, I'll eat lots of Chicken Honey Mustard (just not in front of Jen).  Manny & Olga's makes a great pizza with spinach, tomatoes, chicken, feta, mozzarella & garlic.  Yum.

Favorite Actor: I don't have one.  Lame, right?

Dream Car: If I had to pick, it might be a Volkswagen Routan.
Embarrassing Moment: From this week?  I carried on a full conversation on the phone with a friend from college-sharing funny memories and catching up.  It wasn't until we were ending our chat that I realized it was not the person I thought it was...
Favorite Midnight Snack: It's been Butterfingers & Diet Coke lately
.  I can eat my weight in ice cream too.  But I snack all day and on anything sugary.
Do you sing in the shower: Nope but I can usually be heard chatting with NPR in the car or singing kids' songs while driving.

Which physical feature do you get complimented on most often? Until a few months ago it was the incredibly large abdomen I was sporting...
What crazy thing do you want to try someday? Own a bed & breakfast.
Favorite Blogs: I peruse the internet way too much & I'll read just about anything.  I have blog-envy of great expressive writers.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Me: Rachel Graham

Where do you live? Little Rock, AR (previous places TX, GA, UT & Long Island)
Fav Pastime: Running, Watching College Football(Georgia Bulldogs), Reading, Sewing & Shopping
Favorite Pizza Topping:  Gouda Sauce, Ham, Grilled Chicken and Pineapple
Favorite Actor: Will Smith
Dream Car:  Honda Odyssey  
Embarrassing Moment: Freshman Year of HS while flexing my abs for a boy I farted!  Yes, I wanted to bury my head in the sand...
Favorite Midnight Snack: Waffle House Allstar Breakfast (sometimes the hubs and myself get a craving for this about 2am)
Do you sing in the shower: Nope
Which physical feature do you get complimented on most often? hair
What crazy thing do you want to try someday? Qualify to Run the Boston Marathon & Scuba Dive in the Red Sea
Favorite Blogs: blogs of friends and family

*I apologize in advance for my un-advanced sewing skills... but I am practicing!


Better Late than Never: Teriney Tobler

Name: Teriney Tobler (& nephew Eli)
Where do I live: Arkansas but I have also lived in AR, UT & VA
Favorite pastime: Running, Sleeping, Crafting, Reading & Cooking but mostly Eating!
Favorite pizza topping: Tomatoes, Cheese & Basil
Favorite actor: hmmm Hugh Jackman, Colin Firth & Adam Sandler.
Embarrassing moment: 'oops I crapped my pants.' (timeline and details not available)
Dream car: None
Favorite midnight snack: Cereal or hot cocoa.
Do you sing in the shower: NO, but in the car & house. But never in public.
which physical feature do you get complimented on most often: My Fingers.
What crazy thing do you want to try someday: Live in Africa with my family.
Favorite blogs: Yours, Mine, Family & Friends :)

(sew) inspired I can taste it

Since starting this little group I'm dreaming mostly of fabric, shapes, measurements and design, charm packs, layer cakes and jelly rolls. Oh MY! I'm so excited to finally enter the world of quilting...and now it has taken over my life!
(the little bit of life that I have outside of my other all-consuming life)
I love surfing the blogs, flickr groups, etsy and ebay for great deals on cut fabric sets.

My oldest happens to be turning 9 (wah!) at the end of the month. I see it fitting to experiment on him, seeing as though he is always the subject of parental experiments. He will be the first recipient. I'm starting on the Zig Zag quilt endeavor. I'm going to use as much as I can of my own fabric, but I'll need a few more colors- and at least 2 1/2 yards of white. I'm following a few different tutorials, but here is the main one:
fingers crossed it will look something like this
(photo from cluck cluck sew)
(i'm replacing yellow with brown, i think)

Another site that I recently discovered, and have really come to love is
wise craft
and I haven't been able to get enough of cluck cluck sew, the one Liz recommended yesterday.
I'm off to cut more 7.5" squares. I need 143 total....daunting, but an exciting daunting, ya know?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Quilting Bees

Have you heard that we have a splinter group now? Awesome!

I also read on one of my blogs this morning about another bee, called Ringo Pie. They're much fancier than us, but how cool are these quilt blocks???

I heard about it on Noodlehead. I love the things she makes.

I also love this blog.
And of course, this one!
I'm hoping some of you have discovered some quilting gems out there for more fun ideas! What are your favorites?

Friday, January 14, 2011

 Jennie's level best:

I would love to learn to pick out fabrics that go well together.  
 That has never been a strength of mine.
(and I won't tell you how long it took to just pick these four prints...) 
So as long as we can all forgive the glaring oddities that may come from my little offerings,
I'm happy to continue learning this trade of quilting.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

January: Emilee's attempt

Well, I don't know if this is awesome or ugly since I'm a quilting novice, but I definitely learned a few things along the way. #1 being make sure you cut your squares the same diagonal direction if you want it to work out...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

January is my new birthday!

I feel like it's my birthday, knowing all these are coming my way!!! Seriously ladies, this is so fun! I keep thinking-everyone is going to have so much fun when it's their turn! I love seeing what you're coming up with-I've loved all the fabric and I can't wait to put it all together!!!
Amy's block #2
Amy's block #1-she did the green worrying that the blue was too "grandma-y" (her description, not mine! :) but I love the contrast!
Teriney's block
Emily's block
Jen's block

And Kristin's block just below. Can't wait to see more!!!!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

My pinwheels are multiplying!

I now have my red block, a blue block, a green block and an orange one coming! I am loving this!!!

Hey, It's Jen

Jen Deschamps, 30
where do you live? Currently, I live in a suburb of OKC, OK. I have also lived in CA, NV, UT, NY and AR.
favorite past time? pursuing the internet, strolling Target, cuddling my babes, watching movies, snapping photos, baking cakes and eating great food.
favorite pizza toppings? fresh mozzarella, sliced tomato and fresh basil. 
favorite actor? I'd take a slice of Hugh Jackman.
embarrassing moment? While in the closing of our home, I was dealing with a very sick 2-year-old while my husband signed paperwork. I realized that her nose was crusted over with dried snot. I figured she would probably mellow out if she could breath. Thinking that no one was paying attention to me, I made the decision to clean it out for her. Quickly, I picked the largest booger EVER from that girl's nose. At that same moment, everyone in the room (about 6 adults) turned and looked at me... gigantic booger in hand. It was a low moment for me. Very. Very. Low.
dream car? Land Rover... I have always wanted one.
favorite midnight snack? I never eat a midnight snack. Mostly, I snack all day long. Treats of choice? See's Candy or chocolate cake.
do you sing in the shower? Nope, though I do talk to NPR and sing with the radio.
which physical feature you get complimented on the most often? My baby blues.
what crazy thing do you want to try someday? I dream of starting a new career when I retire from raising my little people. What that career will be? I haven't gotten that far yet.
favorite blogs? I don't have a favorite. I favor anything with honest writing and/or good photography.
PS My blog is

hey y'all - kristin

where do you live? currently little rock, but have lived in arizona, colorado, nevada, utah, maryland
favorite past time: traveling, sewing, thrifting, reading, crocheting, smooching on my baby, photography...designing of all kinds

favorite pizza toppings: recently had the best pizza ever at BJ's in Dallas...spinach artichoke. if you're ever near one you MUST try
favorite actor: james franco, by a landslide
embarrassing moment: there are lots. just this year though, the elevator in Park Plaza tried to eat me. translation: i was nursing theo and i lost my footing and fell flat on my butt in front of an elevator full. it was awesome.
dream car: Mercedes G-Wagon
favorite midnight snack: hmmm, pretzel m&m's, clementine cuties, any kind of chocolate except dark
do you sing in the shower? all the time
which physical feature you get complimented on the most often: hair (thx becca and rachel) and eyelashes
what crazy thing do you want to try someday? living abroad with the fam, sooner rather than later
favorite blogs: design sponge, how about orange, made, anna maria horner (she's my hero), true up, design mom


Where do you live? Maumelle, Arkansas. (past places UT, Colorado, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Grenada, St. Vincent, Michigan)
Favorite Past time: crafting, sewing, cooking, baking, chatting with friends
Favorite pizza toppings: ham and pineapple, mushrooms, green peppers
Favorite actor: Don't know. I'm really not a movie go-er.
Embarrassing moment: falling down the stairs when my Homecoming date came to pick me up. I landed at his feet with my dress up over my head.
Dream car: Suburban, I'm not a fancy car kind of gal.
Favorite midnight snack: (my midnight snack takes place between 9:30-10:00) Oreo's and milk, or whatever I made for dessert that night.
Do you sing in the shower: No, but I hum.
What physical feature do you get complimented the most often? legs
What crazy thing do you want to try someday? not exactly crazy, but I would like to go to Italy.
Favorite Blogs: make-it-and-love it, U-create, cluck-cluck sew, The crafty ones and recipe ones, like Pioneer Woman.
here's my blog for those who want to know more: thesixgardners

Saturday, January 8, 2011


I'm Liz. I'm the little one down in front with the pigtails.
And this is me in Julia Child's kitchen in the Smithsonian.
I live in Little Rock, I'm from Little Rock, but I am also a Utah State Aggie, a Minnesota Gopher and spent some time in California as well!

favorite past time: sewing twirly skirts and handbags, watching movies, walking through Target with Teriney, reading lovely books, teaching kiddos to talk!
favorite pizza toppings: Papa Murphy's Gourmet Vegetarian with chicken, why isn't there a Papa Murphy's here????
favorite actor: hmmmm...not sure
embarrassing moment: in junior high when my friends made me laugh so hard I sprayed chocolate milk everywhere, including out my nose...or really any time I get excited enough to dance
dream car: a Honda Odyssey, yes, I'm in that phase of my life, where I would loooove a minivan
favorite midnight snack: a big glass of ice water heavy heavy heavy on the ice for my crunching pleasure, peanut butter m&m's, kit kats
do you sing in the shower: no, but I sing in my kitchen, in my car, and at work
which physical feature do you get complimented on the most often: my voice
what crazy thing do you want to try someday: parasailing
favorite blogs: Pioneer Woman, Make-It-and-Love-It, Crap I've Made, Imperfect, Ducks in a Row, the Idea Room, the Pleated Poppy, Stroms Little Hoots, I could go on forever! Thank heavens for Google Reader!

I got my first two blocks tonight! I love them! I can't wait to see more!!!!


i'm becca.  nice to meet you.

where do you live?: little rock, arkansas (but, i've also lived in washington, utah, australia, and switzerland)
favorite past time: crafting/creating stuff, movies, music, shopping, reading, playing games, and sewing
favorite pizza toppings:  margarita or
favorite actor:  i don't have a favorite
embarrassing moment:  there are so many, but the most recent would be putting that picture to the left on this post
dream car:  maybe a volkswagon touareg
favorite midnight snack:  pretty much anything with sugar and fat in it-- extreme moose tracks ice cream, hostess snoballs, vanilla coke zero, red vines, mozzarella cheese sticks, lindor milk chocolate truffles.  did i leaving anything out?  
do you sing in the shower?  nope.  just the car.
which physical feature you get complimented on the most often:   my sleekness and lack of visible scars (or so says my husband)
what crazy thing do you want to try someday?  owning my own shop
favorite blogs: martha stewart (not really a blog, but still something i look at a lot), made by rae, morgan moore

Emilee: knitter & runner extraordinaire

(and here's a moment when i burned the epithelial cells off my cornea and had to wear a patch. not recommended.)

where do i live: morristown, new jersey (also have lived in little rock; fresno, california; sweden; utah)
favorite past time: knitting and running, especially in races. also love playing with my babies
favorite pizza toppings: tomatoes, mushrooms, although last night i made a spinach/broccoli one that was tasty so that might be moving up in ranking
favorite actor: not much of a movie watcher. so let's say tim gunn :)
embarassing moment: i can never think of these things
dream car: definitely some type of expensive german car. you name it: mercedes, bmw, volvo, etc...
favorite midnight snack: i'm usually in bed by 10 or so but i do love sparkling water and popcorn, although i usually don't enjoy them at midnight
do you sing in the shower: usually i am scrubbing myself down as quickly as i can before the 2 babes destroy something in the house so there's no time for singing or anything leisurely, for that matter
which physical feature do you get complimented on the most: possibly my teeth or my legs, although i can only think of one time that either was complimented...
what crazy thing would you want to try some day: possibly a triathlon or more than one marathon in a year
favorite blogs: little green notebook, my sister's and sister-in-laws' blogs, apartment therapy (have to get my cram-your-stuff-into-tiny-east-coast-houses-without-closets tips from the manhattanites)


let the introductions begin...

Emily Sigler, 37

where do you live? Little Rock, AR (have also lived in UT, NE, TN, & MO)

favorite past time: creating (stained glass, sewing, decoupage), going to movies, thrift shopping

favorite pizza toppings: mushrooms, peppers whatever Larry's puts on their Buffalo Chicken pizza

favorite actor: Ewan McGregor

embarrassing moment: i was newly married, husband was in med school (dissecting cadavers), introducing myself at a work meeting, said "I'm learning a lot about anatomy". I wanted to crawl under the table.

dream car: PT cruiser

favorite midnight snack: Orville Redenbacher's Tender White popcorn, diet Dr Pepper

do you sing in the shower? no, and my family thanks me

which physical feature you get complimented on the most often: hair color

what crazy thing do you want to try someday? hmmm, upholstering furniture? not much of a daredevil, huh? Also, travel to some foreign places!

favorite (craft) blogs: all things thrifty, oh fransson, the idea room

Now to work on Liz's square!!

Friday, January 7, 2011

My Quilting Essentials

We talked about a basic quilting how-to post as we giggled that some of us didn't know that the standard quilting seam allowance was 1/4". See, I was the opposite! I learned how to sew quilts way before I learned to sew clothes and so my first clothing project went horribly wrong in the sizing because I had no idea that most patterns use a 5/8" seam allowance! :)

I don't know where everyone's comfort level is with quilting or sewing. So, I'll start with my essential supplies.

I love my rotary cutter. I use it for everything. It has a lovely trigger handle, a safety button, and when I misplace it and have to use my old one, I am sad.
I bought a cutting mat years ago, and it's just now starting to show signs of wear. Strings are starting to get caught in some of the deeper gouges. I am thankful that I had the foresight to buy the bigger size-mine is about 2' by 3'. When I use my mom's I always get frustrated at how small hers is!
I have the Olipfa cutting ruler and I wouldn't go any other way! It has a lip on the edge that helps me line up my fabric, it's as wide as my mat so I can cut along the full length rather than using a smaller ruler.

Other must haves: I love my magnetic pin cushion so I can just toss my pins on it, GOOD scissors that are only for cutting fabric, and graphing paper to sketch your ideas and do your math.
In searching for my block design, I found a great glossary with clear explanations about what exactly the selvedge is and other sewing mysteries!

I'm certainly no expert and I know that I'm among some very very talented sewers here, but if you're a newbie, let us know what questions you have!

January: Spinning Pinwheels!

I have always wanted a Pinwheel quilt. I love them. I love how simple and complex they are. I love how you can create a sense of the fabric moving and changing.

Here is my Spinning Pinwheel! Becca raised the question of whether we should make the blocks actually 12.5" square so that it will 12" square finished in our quilts. I did the math and after screwing up myself (this lovely beauty below is actually 11.5" square-I get to make another one tomorrow! :) I did my math again and you would have to cut 3.75" x 6.75" blocks and that seems cruel if you're not familiar with a rotary cutter. So, if it's okay with everyone, I rounded up and they should be 12.5" square when you're done. ....I think. :)

Start with four different fabric scraps. I chose two deeper reds and two rosier colors for the contrast.
Cut eight blocks 4"x7", two of each fabric.Sew your "matching" fabrics together to create squares.Press your seams flat.
Cut each square diagonally to create 8 triangles.Lay our your triangles and match contrasting colors .Sew triangles together to create four squares and press seams again.Sew your squares together to create a lovely pinwheel!I can't wait to see what you all come up with for my lovely rainbow of pinwheels!!!